Simio is a simulation modeling framework based on intelligent objects. The intelligent objects are built by modelers and then may be reused in multiple modeling projects. Objects can be stored in libraries and easily shared. A beginning modeler may prefer to use pre-built objects from libraries; however the system is designed to make it easy for even beginning modelers to build their own intelligent objects for use in building hierarchical models. An object might be a machine, robot, airplane, customer, doctor, tank, bus, ship, or any other thing that you might encounter in your system. A model is built by combining objects that represent the physical components of the system. A Simio model looks like the real system. The model logic and animation is built as a single step. An object may be animated to reflect the changing state of the object. For example a forklift truck raises and lowers its lift, a robot opens and closes its gripper, and a battle tank turns its turret. The animated model provides a moving picture of the system in operation.
Objects are built using the concepts of object orientation. However unlike other object oriented simulation systems, the process of building an object is very simple and completely graphical. There is no need to write programming code to create new objects.
The activity of building an object in Simio is identical to the activity of building a model – in fact there is no difference between an object and a model. This concept is referred to as the equivalence principle and is central to the design of Simio. Whenever you build a model it is by definition an object that can be instantiated into another model. For example, if you combine two machines and a robot into a model of a work cell, the work cell model is itself an object that can then be instantiated any number of times into other models. The work cell is an object just like the machines and robot are objects. In Simio there is no way to separate the idea of building a model from the concept of building an object. Every model that is built in Simio is automatically a building block that can be used in building higher level models.